or Login to see your representatives.

Access Candidates' and Representatives' Biographies, Voting Records, Interest Group Ratings, Issue Positions, Public Statements, and Campaign Finances

Simply enter your zip code above to get to all of your candidates and representatives, or enter a name. Then, just click on the person you are interested in, and you can navigate to the categories of information we track for them.

Key Votes

HR 1058 - Legal Reform bill - Key Vote

National Key Votes

Arlen Specter voted Nay (Passage With Amendment) on this Legislation.

Read statements Arlen Specter made in this general time period.

Stages

Family

Issues

Stage Details

Legislation - Veto Override Passed (Senate) (68-30) - (Key vote)

Title: Legal Reform bill

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to override a Presidential veto of a bill that amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 , limits damages that can be awarded for securities fraud and requires plaintiffs to prove an intentional misstatement in order to receive damages.

Note:

NOTE: A TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY OF THOSE PRESENT AND VOTING IS REQUIRED TO OVERRIDE A PRESIDENTIAL VETO.

Legislation - Veto Override Passed (House) (319-100) - (Key vote)

Title: Legal Reform bill

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to override a Presidential veto of a bill that amends the Security Exchange Act of 1934, limits damages that can be awarded for securities fraud and requires plaintiffs to prove an intentional misstatement in order to receive damages.

Note:

NOTE: A TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY OF THOSE PRESENT AND VOTING IS REQUIRED TO OVERRIDE A PRESIDENTIAL VETO.

Legislation - Vetoed (Executive) -

Title: Legal Reform bill

Legislation - Conference Report Adopted (House) (320-102) - (Key vote)

Title: Legal Reform bill

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to adopt a conference report that amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, limits damages that can be awarded for securities fraud, and requires plaintiffs to prove an intentional misstatement in order to receive damages.

Highlights:
  • Limits the damages that can be awarded to the difference between the purchase price paid by the plaintiff and the average trading price of the security during the 90 day period after the misinformation was disseminated to the market, unless the plaintiff sells or repurchases the security during these 90 days.
  • States that a defendant cannot be held liable if a misstatement is made by the defendant with regards to a security's future performance, but is accompanied by a warning, or if the plaintiff is unable to prove that the defendant made the statement without knowledge of its false or misleading nature.
  • States that a defendant can only be liable for damages if it is proven that he or she knowingly violated securities laws and will only be liable for paying damages proportionate to his or her responsibility for the plaintiffs' losses.
  • Requires potential class action plaintiffs to identify any other class action suit they participated in during the previous 3 years, to swear that they did not purchase certain stock at the attorney's request, and to refuse any payments beyond their share of the recovery for participating in the suit.
  • Declares that an individual may be lead plaintiff or officer, director, or fiduciary of a lead plaintiff, in a maximum of 5 class actions suits within a 3 year period.
  • Establishes each defendant's right to submit a written inquiry to the jury regarding his or her state of mind during the alleged violations.
  • Prohibits brokers, dealers, or other associated individuals from accepting referral fees for helping an attorney obtain the representation of any person involved in a private securities action.
  • Prohibits the use of disgorgement funds resulting from actions by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to pay attorneys' fees.
  • Specifies that anyone who assists in a fraud violation can also be prosecuted.
  • Directs the SEC to study and recommend additional protections needed for senior citizens and qualified retirement plans from security fraud and security fraud litigation.
  • Requires that a public accountant who becomes aware of possible illegal activities during an audit must report on the activities and will not be liable in a private action for complying with the guidelines.
Legislation - Conference Report Adopted (Senate) (65-30) - (Key vote)

Title: Legal Reform bill

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to adopt a conference report that amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, limits damages that can be awarded for securities fraud, and requires plaintiffs to prove an intentional misstatement in order to receive damages.

Highlights:
  • Limits the damages that can be awarded to the difference between the purchase price paid by the plaintiff and the average trading price of the security during the 90 day period after the misinformation was disseminated to the market, unless the plaintiff sells or repurchases the security during these 90 days.
  • States that a defendant cannot be held liable if a misstatement is made by the defendant with regards to a security's future performance, but is accompanied by a warning, or if the plaintiff is unable to prove that the defendant made the statement without knowledge of its false or misleading nature.
  • States that a defendant can only be liable for damages if it is proven that he or she knowingly violated securities laws and will only be liable for paying damages proportionate to his or her responsibility for the plaintiffs' losses.
  • Requires potential class action plaintiffs to identify any other class action suit they participated in during the previous 3 years, to swear that they did not purchase certain stock at the attorney's request, and to refuse any payments beyond their share of the recovery for participating in the suit.
  • Declares that an individual may be lead plaintiff or officer, director, or fiduciary of a lead plaintiff, in a maximum of 5 class actions suits within a 3 year period.
  • Establishes each defendant's right to submit a written inquiry to the jury regarding his or her state of mind during the alleged violations.
  • Prohibits brokers, dealers, or other associated individuals from accepting referral fees for helping an attorney obtain the representation of any person involved in a private securities action.
  • Prohibits the use of disgorgement funds resulting from actions by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to pay attorneys' fees.
  • Specifies that anyone who assists in a fraud violation can also be prosecuted.
  • Directs the SEC to study and recommend additional protections needed for senior citizens and qualified retirement plans from security fraud and security fraud litigation.
  • Requires that a public accountant who becomes aware of possible illegal activities during an audit must report on the activities and will not be liable in a private action for complying with the guidelines.
Legislation - Bill Passed With Amendment (Senate) (69-30) - (Key vote)

Title: Legal Reform bill

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, limits damages that can be awarded for securities fraud, and requires plaintiffs to prove an intentional misstatement in order to receive damages.

Highlights:
  • States that a defendant cannot be held liable for misstatements that are projections, estimates or descriptions about future occurrences. - Places the burden of proving loss causation upon the plaintiff.
  • Authorizes defendants to avoid paying damages in lawsuits involving misstatements or omissions, if they can prove the security's drop in value resulted from something other than the alleged misstatement or omission.
  • Requries the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) study and recommend additional protections needed for senior citizens and qualified retirement plans from security fraud and security fraud litigation.
  • Limits the damages that can be awarded to the difference between the purchase price paid by the plaintiff and the average trading price of the security during the 90 day period after the misinformation was disseminated to the market, unless the plaintiff sells or repurchases the security during these 90 days.
  • Modifies audit requirements to include procedures to detect illegal acts that have a direct effect on the determination of financial statement amounts, identify related party transactions material to financial statements, and evaluate an issuer's ability to continue.
  • Requires that a public accountant who becomes aware of possible illegal activities during an audit must report on the activities and will not be liable in a private action for complying with the guidelines.
  • Specifies that anyone who assists in a fraud violation can also be prosecuted.
Legislation - Bill Passed (House) (325-99) - (Key vote)

Title: Legal Reform bill

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends the Security Exchange Act of 1934, limits damages that can be awarded for securities fraud, and requires plaintiffs to prove an intentional misstatement in order to receive damages.

Highlights:
  • Requires the portion of a settlement awarded to plaintiffs representing a group in a class action lawsuit to be equally distributed to all other class members.
  • Restricts plaintiffs from filing more than 5 class action lawsuits in a 3 year period.
  • Subjects a losing plaintiff to responsibility for the defendant's legal fees if the plaintiff loses the suit under certain circumstances.
  • Requires disclosures for settlement agreements proposed to the plaintiff class to include the amount of recoverable damages per share, the likelihood of the plaintiff's prevailing, and the legal fees sought as part of the settlement.
  • Specifies standards for securities fraud including explicit proof of the defendant's intent to deceive, and a material misstatement or omission that caused the plaintiff's loss.
  • States that a defendant cannot be held liable for misstatement that are projections, estimates and descriptions about future occurrences.
  • Requires that a public accountant who becomes aware of possible illegal activities during an audit must report on the activities and will not be held liable in a private action for complying with the guidelines.
Legislation - Introduced (House) -

Title: Legal Reform bill

Sponsors

  • Thomas J. 'Tom' Bliley Jr. (VA - R) (Out Of Office)

Co-sponsors

  • James 'Jim' Barcia (MI - D) (Out Of Office)
  • Brian P. Bilbray (CA - R) (Out Of Office)
  • Michael 'Mike' Bilirakis (FL - R) (Out Of Office)
  • Bill Brewster (OK - D) (Out Of Office)
  • Thomas Allen 'Tom' Coburn (OK - R) (Out Of Office)
  • Christopher Cox (CA - R) (Out Of Office)
  • Michael D. 'Mike' Crapo (ID - ) (Out Of Office)
  • Thomas 'Chet' Edwards (TX - D) (Out Of Office)
  • Jack M. Fields Jr. (TX - R) (Out Of Office)
  • Daniel 'Dan' Frisa (NY - ) (Out Of Office)
  • John 'Greg' Ganske (IA - ) (Out Of Office)
  • Paul E. Gillmor (OH - R) (Out Of Office)
  • J. Dennis 'Denny' Hastert (IL - R) (Out Of Office)
  • Scott L. Klug (WI - R) (Out Of Office)
  • Carlos J. Moorhead (CA - R) (Out Of Office)
  • Charles W. 'Charlie' Norwood Jr. (GA - R) (Out Of Office)
  • Michael G. Oxley (OH - R) (Out Of Office)
  • William 'Bill' Paxon (NY - R) (Out Of Office)
  • Daniel L. 'Dan' Schaefer (CO - R) (Out Of Office)
  • Clifford Bundy 'Cliff' Stearns (FL - R) (Out Of Office)
  • William J. 'Billy' Tauzin (LA - ) (Out Of Office)
  • Rick White (WA - R) (Out Of Office)
Back to top